Sport climbing

Sport climbing in Ossola Valley: a cocktail of adrenalin, passion, nature and adventure that attracts climbing enthusiasts from all over the world!
The story of sport climbing in Ossola Valley began in the early 1980s on the walls of Balmalonesca, today known as Balma 1.
Some lines had already been climbed at the end of the seventies, such as the beautiful and tiring Moby Dick crack, and in the same period other cliffs were born, such as Cuzzago, the Garden, Villette in Vigezzo Valley or Balmafregia in Premia, but Balma remained the preferred laboratory of local climbers. In subsequent years, with the help of many volunteers, among whom Maurizio Pellizzon stands out in particular, many cliffs were born, some of which are still worth a visit: Croveo, in Antigorio Valley, which came about at the same time as Colloro, above Premosello Chiovenda, and, in the first few years of the 2000s, the Cadarese cracks (Premia, Antigorio Valley), famous throughout Europe, if not across the world. Also in the Antigorio Valley, the cliffs of Esigo and Ponte Romano were born, ideal for hot summer days.

Sport climbing in the Ossola Valley continues to evolve and now offers cliffs and rope lengths for all tastes and grades: comfortable walls for families, more technical walls, cliffs for all seasons and, why not, rocks on which you can even climb when it’s raining.
There are slabs, vertical walls, overhangs and perfect cracks where you can peel off your hands and climb, if you wish, without bolts (spits) for safety, but with fast protection like nuts and friends at hand.

Text edited by mountain guide Pietro Garanzini

Thanks to the valuable contribution of alpine guide Pietro Garanzini, VisitOssola brings you a selection of cliffs in the Ossola valley: Colloro, Balmalonesca, Villette, Balmafregia, Croveo, Ponte Romano, Esigo, Osso, Cadarese, Val Vannino…
Follow us for an all-natural, rocky adventure!
Multi-pitch climbing routes, which abound in the Ossola Valley, came before sport climbing with the exploration of Alpe Devero’s walls, such as Rossa, Esmeralda and Crampiolo, consisting of a perfect red serpentine.
It is worth mentioning the opening of new routes in the Swiss territory next to Ossola that is so close it is almost part of the valley.
The nineties saw in Ossola the appearance of the borer on multi-pitch routes and not just for cliffs. In the 2000s they began to bolt routes above Lake Agaro, in the upper and lower Formazza Valley and recently in the Antigorio Valley.
For a few years now, artificial climbing has developed, especially in the Antigorio Valley, on the walls of San Rocco and others above Foppiano. This style, practised by a few enthusiasts, doesn’t have the notoriety of sport climbing, but the Ossola Valley offers a good range of options to more or less accessible degrees, relatively comfortable in terms of logistics.
The Ossola Valley is the land of multi-pitch rock climbing, but that’s not all it offers: the wonderful Antigorio Valley, in Upper Ossola, is the land of bouldering!

Find inspiration here